Developing a better understanding of visitor perceptions and satisfaction is integral to gaining insights into the pressures that lead to both overtourism and the under-utilisation of tourist attractions, including natural areas. Despite longstanding recognition of their value in monitoring and evaluating change there is a dearth of longitudinal studies in tourism. This study examines changing patterns of visitor use and satisfaction over time at Landmannalaugar, an internationally recognised wilderness area, in Iceland, a country which has been one of the focal points of concern as to the effects of overtourism. A questionnaire survey has been conducted in Landmannalaugar in the summers of 2000, 2009 and 2019 using the same questionnaire and distributed by the same method. Visitor satisfaction fell over the study period and crowding issues became much more important to tourists over time. Despite being based on a single site the research highlights the importance of long-term monitoring for visitor and site management as well as developing a better understanding of concepts of change in natural area tourism management.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank The Iceland Touring Association (Ferðafélag Íslands) for financial support, Edita Tverijonaite and Margrét Wendt for their assistance with data collection, David Ostman for cartography and Þorkell Stefánsson as well as Ævar Þórólfsson at the Social Science Research Institute, University of Iceland for statistical assistance.
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- Longitudinal research
- visitor satisfaction